Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Near miss with a point and shoot?  (Read 2586 times)
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3909



« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »
ReplyReply

But then, there was Brassaï and the story of the kneeling tripod when he came to shoot his friend, Lawrence Durrell. He made only a couple shots, and as he told Durrell: "Yes, I only take one or two or three pictures of a subject. I find it concentrates one to shoot less. Of course it's chancy; when you shoot a lot you stand a better chance, but then you are subjecting yourself to the law of accident - if accident has a law. I prefer to try and if necessary fail. When I succeed, however, I am much happier than I would be if I shot a million pictures on the off-chance. I feel that I have really made it myself, that picture, not won it in a lottery." (From an October, 1968 MOMA press release.)

Now that's my kind of photographer.

It's very arty, Russ, but to me it smacks of self-indulgence. He's being paid to produce the goods, not so he can induce self-satisfaction when he succeeds. Does each of his employers have to keep fingers crossed that the contract will be honoured?

Jeremy
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2012, 12:17:55 PM »
ReplyReply

Well to keep the ball rolling Rob, I am afraid I have to disagree with your disagreement. Most people at the top of their game (in what ever field), only got there due to the sheer effort they were willing to put in. Even the accepted greats did not come into this world fully formed and complete, they had to work hard for it.Your remark about monkeys couldn't be further from the mark, I am talking about any rational, sentient human being, that is sufficiently driven to drag themselves all the way up to the top, a monkey is a monkey and is a nonsensical comparison.

Over to you!

Dave


That's a switch; I, agree with the current quotation above, but that isn't what you were writing before, which was:

"Which I would then further interpret as meaning, that anyone can shoot successfully at the level of a pro, if only they are willing to put in all the time and energy such an undertaking requires..." and that is the concept to which I was objecting.

As much as I do to the idea of the "rational, sentient human being" being able to drag himself to the top of anything without commensurate talent. It's fashionable to decry talent, but that's just a spin-off from the digital age which has led legions to think that because PS exists and they know how to use it, they somehow achieve talent as photographers. Most don't and they never will. It happens at the camera or not at all.

Rob C
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2012, 12:23:51 PM »
ReplyReply

It's very arty, Russ, but to me it smacks of self-indulgence. He's being paid to produce the goods, not so he can induce self-satisfaction when he succeeds. Does each of his employers have to keep fingers crossed that the contract will be honoured?

Jeremy


Jeremy, life as a photographer is an ego trip. That, or life as a drudge. One's personal attitude takes one into either one classification or the other - there's no third option. I know that mine and Brassai's are similar, or I wouldn't have ever dreamed of life with a camera; the other available career options were all very soft by comparison. But they didn't turn my juices on at all.

Rob C
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2012, 12:36:07 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Dave, First off, let's get the term "pro" straight. "Pro" means that you make money at it. It doesn't say anything about your competence. The level of the average small town pro photographer is that he can haul around a ton of gear and shoot a lot of pictures at weddings, then produce the kind of cliche prints the bride recognizes as "wedding pictures." There may be a dozen people in the audience at the wedding who can make better art than the pro, but they're not there to shoot pictures.

But I also disagree with the second part of your claim. Winogrand was a talented guy. Part of his talent was that he was willing to slog around NY City even when he was supposed to be home. But the man had an eye that wasn't the result of hard work. Do you really believe that anyone can become, say, a concert pianist? I've talked about this before: My wife and I had a friend who was a concert pianist. She was a fantastic mechanic. She never missed a note. But she couldn't interpret, say, Rhapsody in Blue the way Oscar Levant could. Oscar used to miss notes, but the way he handled the piano on Gershwin could bring tears to your eyes -- even down your cheeks. A great musician has an inborn talent. A great painter has an inborn talent. A great photographer has an inborn talent. They all need to work their butts off at it, but they also need what they were born with or they'll never become what we'd call "great."


The above has been my life's experience.

Rob C
Logged

kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3909



« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2012, 02:54:15 AM »
ReplyReply


Jeremy, life as a photographer is an ego trip. That, or life as a drudge. One's personal attitude takes one into either one classification or the other - there's no third option. I know that mine and Brassai's are similar, or I wouldn't have ever dreamed of life with a camera; the other available career options were all very soft by comparison. But they didn't turn my juices on at all.

Rob C

Rob, there's a balance to be struck between self-fulfilment and completing the task one is being paid to do.

Jeremy
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2012, 03:10:14 AM »
ReplyReply

Rob, there's a balance to be struck between self-fulfilment and completing the task one is being paid to do.

Jeremy


Jeremy, in such a photographer's mind, they are the same thing, and economic survival proves the photographer was correct. That's why you get horses for courses and the poor old general practitioner generally gets nowhere fast.

Why should there be a conflict between doing what you enjoy and getting paid for doing what the client pays you to do? Unless you work to a very precise laypout or concept, photography offers the creative mind as much freedom as it seeks. Speaking from my own experience, clients hired me for what they imagined I might do for them even though some certainly did try to put pressure on the content - usually with unfortunate results for both of us. That's how you learn not to take on every job that's offered: it can destroy you and your credibility.

If a photographer finds himself unhappy with what he is doing, he should stop doing it. He should reallise that he's in a job where he can do what pleases him if he looks for and finds the right clients for his temperament. It's not like adding numbers or stacking shelves or running a bakery; it's far closer to a real marriage, with photography your bride. Bigamy can be good.

Rob C
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6052



WWW
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2012, 09:51:46 AM »
ReplyReply

. . .there's a balance to be struck between self-fulfilment and completing the task one is being paid to do.

I'm with Rob, Jeremy. If a photographer finds a conflict between these things that requires a "balance" it's time for him to find another line of work.
Logged

kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3909



« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2012, 05:05:26 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm with Rob, Jeremy. If a photographer finds a conflict between these things that requires a "balance" it's time for him to find another line of work.

Forgive me, but I think you and Rob have moved the goalposts. The particular quoted sentence with which I took issue was (and its context too was important) "I prefer to try and if necessary fail". Professionals are not paid to fail - not in either line of work in which I've been involved nor, I suspect, in photography. To accept failure with such apparent equanimity appears to me to be at best undesirable.

Jeremy
Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6052



WWW
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2012, 05:34:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Well I'll certainly agree that if you're a commercial photographer and you want to continue to be a commercial photographer you're better off not failing. But I think what Rob's saying, and I agree, is that if you're really into commercial photography you're probably not going to go around failing assignments, and you're probably going to enjoy what you're doing.
Logged

WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1148


« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2012, 05:57:21 PM »
ReplyReply

Jeremy,

From where I see it, failure is not an option for the commercial shooter.  Never has been.  But in the present business model for photography it is an increasing occurrence which prevents me from saying 'never will be'.

For me, that is good.  Coz I get called to come and fix other people's stuff-ups.  Stuff-ups often generated by the notion that professional photography is a matter of buying a camera and hanging out your shingle and bugger all else.

In the 60s when I got into the game there was an unofficial apprenticeship of working your way up through the studio and learning the trade.  Not just how cameras, lenses, lights and chemicals worked, but all the other problem solving that crops up along the way.  Not a small part of that ephemera of shooting was the psychology of handling problem clients on a shoot or others like models and hangers-on.

In commercial pursuits there is a purpose.  And that purpose becomes the aim point.  Miss that target once and you may be granted the compassion to live to shoot again - but don't count on such grace being extended with any sort of recurring frequency.  As I said, failure is not an option.

Recreational shooting CAN be as stringent but doesn't need to be.  In my own life I have a hard-won division of commercial and recreational endeavours.  I say 'hard-won' because after a lifetime of shooting with the discipline of commercial objectives, it is actually bloody hard to let go of the rigours of satisfying the client - rigours that CAN lead to repetition, predictability and cliché - and just get to the risky path of flow of consciousness shooting where failure is a constant travelling companion ..... and possibly a necessary part of the process.

Relating this back to the OP: it doesn't matter a damn that the image is not as finely focussed as it could be.  The image itself is rewarding which is a lot more than can be said for many posted pictures which might be sharper.  On the basis that the author expressed concern with the sharpness I suggested revisiting the scene if it mattered to him. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 06:01:16 PM by WalterEG » Logged
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad